30th Nov 2021


MEPs focus on Belarus, digital rules This WEEK

  • European Parliament president David Sassoli (l) will welcome Belarusian democratic opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Strasbourg (Photo: European Parliament)
Listen to article

MEPs are heading to Strasbourg for a plenary meeting even though Covid-19 infections are on the rise all over Europe, and governments are introducing restrictive measures again.

Some 200 lawmakers will stay away because of health safety concerns.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The debate over a successor for David Sassoli, the centre-left Italian president of the European Parliament will heat up next week.

The centre-right European People's Party group will elect its candidate on Wednesday evening (24 November), for the post in January.

Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola and Dutch MEP Esther de Lange are among the candidates, but more can put themselves forward by Monday evening.

The EPP insists that according to the coalition agreement at the start of this parliament's mandate, their group should assume the presidency position.

Foreign debate

On Tuesday (23 November), MEPs will debate the situation in Belarus, and Minsk pushing thousands of migrants to the Polish border, creating a humanitarian and security emergency.

On Wednesday, the exiled leader of the Belarusian democratic opposition Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will address the plenary in Strasbourg.

MEPs will also debate the escalation of tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday.

The leader of the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia, Miroslav Dodik, said that their parliament will take decisions to withdraw from the country's army, courts and tax system this month, risking unravelling the federation that secured peace in the last decades.

On Tuesday (23 November), EU affairs ministers meeting in Brussels to prepare the EU summit in December, and take a closer look at the EU-UK talks on sorting out the post-Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland.

Tough votes

MEPs in the internal market committee will vote on Monday (22 November) on new rules for Facebook, Amazon and Google, within the so-called EU Digital Markets Act.

The new legislation, proposed by commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager last year, would try to roll back unfair practices by the US market-dominating tech giants.

MEPs will also vote in the parliament's Strasbourg plenary meeting on the final approval of the common agriculture policy on Tuesday.

The new rules, which guide the distribution of EU funding, will aim to protect local food-production and promote sustainability in farming.

MEPs on Monday will talks about European strategy for critical raw materials, and a vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

Lithium, beryllium, cobalt and many others are necessary for consumer electronics, health, steel-making, defence, and aviation.

Wrap up

MEPs on Wednesday will debate the results of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will also face MEPs on Wednesday to discuss the results of the results of the October EU summit.

Lawmakers will also have a final vote on the 2022 EU budget, which was secured with talks in governments last week.

Nearly 200 MEPs set to shun Strasbourg over Covid spike

Almost 200 MEPs want to use remote voting rather than attend next week's session in Strasbourg, due to Covid-19 worries. The parliament's senior administrator has instructed staff to follow Belgian four-day home working rules - as has the European Commission.

Central Europe struggles with new Covid-19 wave

A new wave of Covid-19 infections has been sweeping through central Europe, where the vaccination rate is generally below the EU average - partly due to low trust in institutions.

Facebook scandal and COP26 climax in focus This WEEK

Facebook whistleblower is expected to meet with MEPs and representatives of the French senate this week. Meanwhile, eyes turn again to the Glasgow UN climate summit as pressure is mounting for negotiators to finish the 2015 Paris Agreement rulebook.

News in Brief

  1. Ukraine eyes end of EU gas transit from 2024
  2. France says ready to talk about migrants if UK serious
  3. Latvia calls for permanent US troops to guard against Russia
  4. OPCW members urge Russia to come clean on Navalny
  5. Japan bars foreign arrivals as omicron spreads
  6. US to expel 54 more Russian diplomats, Moscow says
  7. Chinese president promises Africa one billion Covid vaccines
  8. Andersson elected as Swedish PM for second time in one week

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Frontex implicated 'to some extent' in violations, says officer
  2. Omicron shows need for pandemic global pact, WHO says
  3. Pesticides 'cost double the amount they yield', study finds
  4. Scholz's first job? Work with Poland on Belarus crisis
  5. Why Is Italy struggling to convert its anti-vaxxers?
  6. Consultancies pocketing EU millions prompts MEP grilling
  7. Russian mercenaries using EU-trained soldiers in Africa
  8. EUobserver wins right to keep VIP-jet story online

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us